Best Apple Arcade card games 2023

Card Of Darkness on an iPhone 11 Pro
Card Of Darkness on an iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Apple Arcade is Apple's gaming subscription service that is jam-packed with a ton of great games, with most of them being from indie developers. While there are a lot of different games and genres available in Apple Arcade, card games are a little scarce, even as new titles get added every week.

Whether you have the best iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or even a Mac, Apple Arcade has something you'll enjoy. While you'll definitely get the best performance on an iPhone 13 or even an iPad Air 5, Apple Arcade games should run wonderfully no matter what device you're using, especially the best Apple Arcade card games.

With Apple Arcade, you get access to over 100 titles for one flat rate a month, or you can save some dough by going annually. And if you have an iPhone, Apple Arcade is included at all levels with a new purchase. An Apple Arcade subscription can be shared with up to six other people with Family Sharing, at no extra cost. So if you're looking for an entertaining way to keep everyone occupied in your family, Apple Arcade is a good way to do so — there's something for everyone.

We've gone through the list of titles available in the subscription service and, for now, these are still the best Apple Arcade card games that you can play.

Card of Darkness

Card Of Darkness Image Cropped (Image credit: iMore)

Zach Gage, the guy behind other great games like SpellTower+, Ridiculous Fishing, Sage Solitaire, and Pocket-Run Pool, is back at it again with Card of Darkness. This game is a fantastic collaboration between Zach Gage, Pendleton Ward, and Choice Provisions — everything is hand-animated for extra charm.

In Card of Darkness, you'll have to battle your way out of each dungeon floor by casting spells, slaying monsters, discovering secrets, and saving the world at the end of the day. But all of this is done by picking the right cards. Each level features a grid full of stacks of cards — these stacks contain monsters, treasures, weapons, potions, and spells. But there's one thing: you can only see the top card of each stack, so what lies underneath that card is a mystery. And once you take a card from a stack, you must eventually take all of the cards underneath it as well. Basically, you need to finish what you start.

Card of Darkness has a minimalist card concept at the core, and it also mixes in the elements of a puzzle, dungeon crawler, and roguelike, all in one game. It's full of risk and reward decisions, so just be cautious and plan strategically. The game is harder than it looks, but it's still the best Apple Arcade card game that you can play.



Cardpocalypse (Image credit: Versus Evil)

Do you remember those '90s Saturday morning cartoons? I grew up on them, and they were some of my favorite moments of my childhood. Cardpocalypse brings all of that back, especially the trading card game aspect.

In Cardpocalypse, you take on the role of a '90s kid, Jess, who just wants to be a Mega Mutant Power Pets master. But on her first day at Dudsdale Elementary, the popular collectible card game is banned, so all of the kids need to take their battles underground to prevent being caught. But then the mutants from the game begin to invade the real world, and it's up to Jess and her new friends to save the world.

You can build decks that revolve around the ultra-rare Champion cards that you earn through the game. The Champions have unique abilities that you'll want to build your deck around, and these Champions can evolve into MEGA forms when their health is halved, so that means more damage and powers. The goal of the game is to get your opponent's Champion health to zero first.

Like any good collectible card game, Cardpocalypse has you earning new cards through victories, upgrading cards with stickers, and you can buy new cards through the Mega Mutant Power Magazine. You can even trade with classmates, but remember — no backsies! It's also impossible to collect all of the cards because, in the end, your decks and rules are unique to you, stickers are also rare, and your choices will matter. At times, you'll have to make tough decisions to get the best cards. When you put all of this together, it really makes Cardpocalypse one of the best Apple Arcade card games.

Hearts: Card Game+

Hearts Card Game Plus Screens (Image credit: MobilityWare)

Hearts is a card game that's all about trying not to score points. That means thinking carefully about every move and staying as low as possible. Even if it's not as popular as it used to be as a card game around the world, it's still plenty of fun.

Anyone who enjoys a round of Hearts will want to check this out. There's no online play. Instead, the game uses MobilityWare's advanced artificial intelligence to simulate real opponents, meaning that it works well for anyone who wants to play, regardless of skill level. The developer notes that the focus of the game is "fun and relaxation," not stressing out over every mode.

Spades: Card Game+

Spades Game Plus Image (Image credit: MobilityWare)

Spades is a classic card game, tasking players with competing with a partner against opponents in the race to 250 points. Developed by MobilityWare, this version of Spades supports extensive leaderboards for online competitions. Meanwhile, the extensive tutorials and offline modes mean there's no pressure if you aren't experienced.

This is from the same developer that brought your Hearts: Card Game+, so if the layout seems similar, that's the shared origin. It also uses the developer's same advanced AI systems.



Spelldrifter (Image credit: Free Range)

Do you like hybrid tactical role-playing games? And how about deck building? If you answered yes to both, then Spelldrifter is a fantastic addition to the best Apple Arcade card games.

In Spelldrifter, there's an in-depth fantasy storyline, and you'll get to pick the heroes you want to use, with each one of them having their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Your goal is to go deep into the world of Starfall as you search for the mysterious Labyrinth, where a ton of secrets are waiting to be discovered.

The game combines puzzle-like positional tactics with turn-based RPG battle, and you can customize your experience and replayability with the collectible card game element. Because of the deckbuilding with abilities and skills for each hero, you'll need to manage your resources properly, as each move requires a certain amount of space on the grid and time to charge.

Where Cards Fall

Where Cards Fall

Where Cards Fall (Image credit: Snowman)

This one isn't exactly a card game in the traditional sense, but it does involve cards in a unique way.

Where Cards Fall is a slice of life story-based puzzle game where you build houses of cards to bring memories back to life. These cards are all you have to solve spatial puzzles with as you navigate through the insecurities and emotions of a high school student and beyond.

The art style in this game is gorgeous, and while it's story-driven, there is no dialogue — everything is told through visuals. There are over 50 levels to solve, and it's just mesmerizing watching the deck of cards expand into full-on buildings right before your eyes.

Best Apple Arcade Card Games: Will you fold?

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

Again, there's a little bit of everything on Apple Arcade. However, card games are still scarce, so these continue to be the best Apple Arcade card games that we've found. More games are being added to the service slowly but steadily, so if there's a card game you like that's not in the service, keep your fingers crossed, as it could arrive in the future.

Into other genres besides cards? All of the best games on Apple Arcade offer a little something for everyone, so you'll be sure to find a game for your taste, whether that's RPG, some mystery titles, or even dungeon crawlers.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.